Big Eden is about a successful artist, Henry (Arye Gross) from a small town in Montana, who moves back home from New York after hearing the news that his grandfather is terribly ill. Once at home, he sees that much in his town has changed. As it turns out, the whole town had always known about his sexuality, but had never let on to it. They still don’t address it directly, but as the main mistress of gossip and society in town realizes that her matchmaking attempts between Henry and women aren’t working, she starts inviting more men to meetings with him, honouring his preference.
Meanwhile, Henry’s old high school crush, Dean, has also moved back after a messy divorce from his wife. The two re-connect, and although romance seems to bloom, Dean reveals that he can’t go all the way and enter into a relationship with Henry. At the same time, a local Native American, Pike, starts to build a growing connection with Henry.
Although his grandfather’s health seemed to have been getting better for a while, the grandfather ultimately passes away, leading to a funeral that brings the whole town together, except for Pike, which initially perplexes Henry, until he comes to understand Pike’s affections on a deeper level. Although Henry is slated to depart back for New York, he makes a last minute decision to stay behind, and to welcome a blossoming romance with Pike.
“Has all the crowd-pleasing elements moviegoers respond to: appealing hero, absorbing story, a solid group of supporting players and a big fat happy ending.”
— David Ehrenstein, New Times LA
“Director Thomas Bezucha‘s eyes are as starry as Montana’s sky, but it’s pretty hard to resist such a determinedly utopian vision of love.”
— Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
“It’s unlikely that the whole cowboy town would really applaud all the queer goings-on, but it’s a lovely sentiment in a lovely movie.”
— Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle
Did You Know?
A large part of what distinguishes Big Eden and sets the tone for the movie in general is the location, which consists of scenes set primarily around Glacier National Park in Montana, and inspiringly beautiful breadth of nature. The schoolhouse featured in the film is set in West Glacier, while the houses of the town are found on the shores of Lake McDonald. Review our Gay Themed Films Here